Launched in October 2020, New York Focus publishes investigative and accountability journalism that explains how the state really works.
As New York’s only statewide nonprofit newsroom, Focus is helping rebuild a local news ecosystem that has faced years of relentless cuts: Almost half of New York’s newspapers have died in the last two decades. The outlet investigates the operation of power in Albany and how it impacts communities across the state.
New York Focus is guided by the belief that politics is not a sport. Decisions made in New York’s executive mansions, legislative chambers, state administrative offices, courts, nonprofits, union halls, and campaign headquarters don’t stay there. They determine how many New Yorkers sleep on the street each night; how large public college classes are; how many hospital beds are available during a pandemic.
We launched three years ago with just $75,000 in seed funding. Support from the American Journalism Project is an enormous milestone for our newsroom, and it will allow us to grow at a moment at which almost all our peers in New York are cutting back. This grant will help build New York Focus into a durable institution that can keep watch on power for the long haul."
Rebecca Klein, Publisher
Akash Mehta is the editor-in-chief of New York Focus. He grew up in Brooklyn, and in another life, he was a member of his local community board and a policy fellow at the City Council. He previously reported on state budget negotiations, homelessness policy, and other New York issues for outlets including The Intercept and Gothamist, before founding Focus in October 2020. He also teaches media business at St. Joseph’s College. Photo Credit: Clark Hodgin for the New York Times
Rebecca Klein serves as New York Focus’s publisher, overseeing the organization’s revenue, operations and strategy. Before joining the organization in 2021, she covered national education issues as a senior reporter and editor at HuffPost. Her work has also appeared in outlets including NPR, The Guardian, and The Hechinger Report. She has taught journalism to graduate and undergraduate students at NYU and Five Towns College, and her work has been recognized by groups like the Online News Association and the Education Writers Association. She was previously the Center for Community Media fellow at the CUNY Newmark Executive Program in News Innovation and Leadership. Photo credit: Damon Dahlen